Posted on: 7 July 2020Share
Apples are delicious, but they are more work to grow than most people realize. Apple trees are susceptible to a large number of pests, bacterial diseases, and fungal diseases. The best way to keep all of these problems from plaguing your apple trees is to spray the trees regularly. And for apple trees, "regularly" means spraying in a four-seasons way. Here's a look at the four seasons of apple tree development and the type of spraying you should aim to do each season — assuming you want an abundant apple crop.
Season One: Winter
Winter is when the apple trees are dormant. They do not have any leaves, and they are not actively growing. In most regions where apples grow, this season lasts approximately from November until February. This is a good time to spray the trees with a solution sold as a "dormant oil." Since it is oil-based, this solution will remain on the tree even after it snows and rains. It basically ensures that any pest eggs on the tree are suffocated when they do later start hatching and emerging. Dormant oil sprays specifically help protect against aphids and mites.
Season Two: Spring
For an apple tree, spring really refers to the period during which the tree begins to bud and form new leaves. In most apple-growing regions, this season lasts from about March through May. The dormant spray will still be working to help kill small insects at this time, but you will need to spray the tree with fungicides. Spring and its high moisture levels are very inviting to the fungi that cause powdery mildew disease and apple scab, and fungicide sprays protect against both of these ailments.
Season Three: Summer
Summer is the season when the apple tree develops flowers, and then those flowers develop into fruit. It typically lasts from mid-May or June through August. This season calls for lots of insecticide sprays, as insects like moths and nematodes will otherwise start feeding on the young fruits.
Season Four: Fall
At the start of fall, the apples will be harvested. This season usually lasts from September through early November. It's the best time to spray the tree with copper sulfate, which helps protect against a fungal infection called anthracnose.
Follow the guidelines above when spraying your apple trees. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about tree spraying, reach out to a tree care company.